restore lost apps on iphone

How to restore lost apps on iPhone?

We are often forced to remove iOS apps due to limited iPhone space. Other times we accidentally delete an app from the iPhone or it suddenly disappears. It doesn’t mean we’ve lost the apps forever.

Here’s how to restore lost or deleted apps on iPhone.

I deleted an app. How do I get it back?

Easy! The App Store keeps track of all the apps you ever purchased or downloaded on the iPhone or iPad. This facilitates recovering lost or deleted iPhone apps in at least two ways.

1. Look up the app on the App Store

From within your iPhone, enter the App Store and search for the app you are trying to reinstall. Then simply re-download it. For paid apps you already purchased, it might seem that you have to re-purchase at first. re-download iphone app from the app store

However, once you tap on the price and enter your Apple ID and password, you are returned the following message which means that you can download the app for free. this update is free because you own a previous version of the item

2. Use the “Purchased” list

A more useful way to recover purchased apps is via using the Purchased list. To do so, on your iPhone, open the App Store and tap “Updates”. Tap “Purchased”. Finally, tap “Not on This iPhone”. You see a list of all your previously purchased or downloaded apps which have since been removed or were never installed on this iPhone. purchases list available to download to this iphone

Can I recover app preferences and documents?

Often restoring lost apps is not enough if you don’t also recover the associated app preferences and documents. This is where it all becomes a bit blurry. Different apps store different amounts of app data on your iPhone and in the cloud.

Certain iPhone games such as Angry Birds or Clash of Clans store game progress in the Game Center. Unless you specifically removed this information upon deleting the app, the data and preferences will be restored upon re-installing the app. you will no longer be listed on game center leaderboards

Some apps such as Pages, Numbers and Keynote are designed to store all associated documents and data in iCloud. If unsure, you can check which of your iPhone apps store documents and data in iCloud by going to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup > Manage storage. Such apps appear under the “Documents & Data” section. apps documents and data in icloud

Backup and recover iPhone apps and preferences without iCloud/iTunes

Rather be safe than sorry. Back up all your existing iPhone apps along with app preferences, documents and game progress directly to the PC.

You can then restore the apps to the same iPhone or transfer them to any other iOS device: complete with app-related data. This, even if the app has since been discontinued from the App Store.

For the purpose use the completely free PC tool called CopyTrans Apps. It allows you to restore iPhone apps independent of iCloud or iTunes and to be sure that apps and app documents are safely backed up if needed.

Backup and restore iPhone apps without iCloud and iTunes backup and restore iphone apps with copytrans manager

Use CopyTrans Apps to back up iPhone games and game scores in the same way.

backup app button in copytrans selected

NEW: Back up and restore all apps and other iOS content at once

Use the free CopyTrans Shelbee if you just got yourself a new iPhone and are planning on migrating your old iPhone content including apps, app documents, settings, messages, contacts, calendars and camera roll to the new iPhone. Here’s how easy it gets.

Get CopyTrans Shelbee Now backup and transfer iphone content to new iphone with copytrans shelbee

I can’t find default iPhone apps like Safari or Camera

Good news: you didn’t accidentally delete those – you can’t! It’s impossible to uninstall native iPhone apps such as Safari, FaceTime, or the Camera app. If some of these apps are nowhere to be found on your iPhone, it means that usage of the applications has been restricted.

To enable back the default iPhone apps, on the iPhone, navigate to Settings > General > Restrictions and toggle the switch next to each app to the ON position. iphone restrictions screen

You can alternatively disable all restrictions in place by tapping “Disable Restrictions”. disable all iphone restrictions

Have more ideas on how to recover lost iPhone apps? Post your suggestion in the comments section below.

  • Alex Keimig

    I’m getting a new iPhone soon and am currently backing up my app data with CopyTrans. If I sync my new phone with iTunes to restore my most recent backup, can I then use CopyTrans and “reinstall” the apps to get the data? Or will that result in some sort of double install? Just worried about trying to juggle syncing with CopyTrans AND iTunes. Thank you!!

  • Amanda Wright

    Please help !! I used the ipad to take some video and pics which took it to the limit and now my son’s Terraria character has completely disappeared ! All his progress, building, clothing and extras have gone and all that’s left is the actual game which gives the options of “guest/create a character”. What can I do ?!! I know the game is on Icloud but I think it’s just the game and not the progress….. Any advice would be appreciated
    From an anxious Mum !

    • Hi Amanda, did you back up the app with CopyTrans Apps already? If so, the app and the app data should be safe on your PC and all you need is to restore them back to the iPad. Let me know more about the situation by contacting me at

  • sidhu90

    please help…i have file master app on my iphone 5 which had my personal documents and photos …i have created back up of all apps on itunes and when i restored app i lost all app can i recover those images please help …they were really important for me…

  • Sylvie Beaudoin

    Hello, I can no longer use iPhone’s native reminder app. Is there a place where I can download it again?

  • Art Heinrichs

    Krasimir, I purchased an iPhone 6s and did a cloud backup of my 4s before transferring data and apps. Once the apps started loading my IT guy wiped my 4s before I noticed an app called password keeper did not transfer. I looked on the app store and that app is no longer there ( i downloaded 2 years ago). Is there any way to recover these passwords? I am lost without them!


    • Art, how did the IT guy wipe the iPhone? If he did it via iTunes, then iTunes must have automatically created a backup of the iPhone right before the wipe-out. This backup it your only hope unfortunately.

  • Art Heinrichs

    Good Morning Krasimir,
    The IT guy wiped the phone itself, he does not have access to my iTunes account. I did look through all purchased apps on the phone and that app does not appear so it must have been a free version.

  • Vladimir Tinchev

    Hi. I made backup on my phone 6 on 08.12.2014, than i gave my phone to authorrized service of Apple in Sofia Bulgaria, to check my battery, becouse i thought a got a problem. 3 days later I took my phone, they said, that the battery is fine, but they updated my phone to ios 8.1.2. When i come back home and tried to make restore from my backup, all of ot has been done, but all my apps didnt come. I tried this many times but all i have now are contacts, photos and some preferences… no apps. is there any chance to make the backup restore right?

  • ayjay3

    I have a full backup of my phone in iTunes. Is there a way I can restore only part of it (a few of the apps and data) to another phone?

    • Ayjay, that would be difficult. However, you can try and restore just the apps (without the app data) by navigating to your Mobile Applications folder found in the iTunes Media folder on your PC. Then use CopyTrans Apps to drag and drop the IPA files from the folder to your iPhone. If you need more help, contact me directly at

  • Lori Linsey

    Hello! I accidentally deleted Keynote which was built in with my iPhone 6 for free. Now when I tried reinstalling it I have to pay $9.99?! Is there a way for me to recover it for free? Looking forward to your response.

  • Justin Fields

    I just used this to transfer a game to my new phone and it worked fantastically. It didn’t auto transfer with everything else, but this worked like a charm. Thanks!

  • Crystal Kaolulo-McCord

    Hi! Im having a little trouble with my apps as well.. I didn’t accidentally delete anything. My phone was glitching so I turned it off. When I turned it back on some apps were gone, including my SETTINGS app and camera. How do I get them back if I don’t have a settings location to go on to?? —PLEASE HELP?!!!

    • Hi Crystal, there is no way for your Settings and Camera apps to be gone. These apps are installed by default. Please tell me more about the trouble by contacting me directly at and I’ll help you troubleshoot.

  • Vanessa

    i accidentally deleted my app off my ipod but it is saved onto my itunes, how do i redownload it back without getting the updated version

  • Thouzif

    Please Helpp — Hii Mr. Krasimir my whatsapp with 10gb data crashed after updation i cant open that so i took backup using Copytransapp , i got backup file with 10gb , but after i restore ( install ) whatsapp with copytransapp , whatsapp works finely and the backup not restored why ? plzz give me a good solution for restore by backup in my iphone 5 ios 8.1.3

  • sai krishna

    how can i reinstall removed game from gamecenter.please help me in fixing this

  • Brittany Manning

    My “photos” app that comes with the iPhone has disappeared. Any ideas on how to get it back?

    • Hi Brittany, the Photos app comes preinstalled on your iPhone and it can’t get uninstalled. Check your restrictions settings under Settings > General > Restrictions. Make sure that all restrictions are disabled.

  • Julia

    Hi I wonder if you can help please? My son has accidentally deleted his fifa 15 app on his iphone 6 he has spent quite a lot of money on it. Is there anyway he can get it back with all his stuff on it please? Many thanks

    • Hi Julia, did your son back up the application anywhere on his PC prior to deleting it from the iPhone?

      If not, he can re-download it from the AppStore using his own Apple ID (the one he used when he purchased the app in first place). As he purchased the app already, he won’t need to repurchase the app or the in-app purchases he made earlier.

      • Julia

        Thanks for your help. Sadly no back up on PC and he has re downloaded but its back to the start again, so he did loose all his data on it. Thank you again.

  • David Freestone

    I tried re-installing a purchased app for iPhone 5 from the AppStore, it wouldn’t re-install. I tapped on the cloud and it ran for about 2 seconds then returned to the cloud, i tried this several times and each time i got the same?

    • Hi David, was the app purchased under the Apple ID you currently use on your iPhone? If you need more help, please contact me directly at

      • David Freestone

        Hiya, yes it was, but i found out last night after repeated attempts that the actual Apple was having a problem and nobody could download anything. I finally had a try at 9.30 pm and lo and behold i could re-install everything i had lost, so thank you very much for your attention and for your kind help. My Iphone 5 now has everything back and i didn’t even have to pay a single penny :O)

  • Lisa Barber

    My toddler accidentally deleted a file of photography apps including the camera app on my iPhone. I can still access everything other ways, but how can I restore the app buttons to the home screen. I already have restrictions turned off so that’s not the problem. Thanks!

  • VenomViper74


    My friend deleted one of my favorite games off of my ipod touch 4g. I redownloaded it but it is making me start fresh. I haven’t synced the device in years. And even though I have to start fresh in game, the gamecenter shows my old stats. I am completely clueless on what to do.


  • Tan

    Hi, I am in a weird position as I manually deleted the system apps folder as I could not upgrade/restore any of the iOS. Now non of the system apps are showing neither the ‘Settings’ nor the ‘App Store’. Kindly help me out please. My iPad was jailbreaked is this why I couldn’t upgrade? Now while trying to restore through iTunes, its showing errors like 3194 then I used TinyUmbrella and it fixed the 3194 error but now giving Error 11. I am literally fedup. Please help me out.

  • Wizi

    Hi i needsome help my daughter accidently deleted a file from my i phone 4s now i am trying to find that app on appstore but unable to find that becausei forgot the complete name of that app if anybody can help me how can i get that app again plz

  • Steve Easton

    is there anyway to find what a null app is so i cant reinstall it to remove it?
    i havent been able to back up my 4s because of a null app and it doesnt show up in my app list (not on this phone) i cant find it by size or version.
    any help would be greatly appreciated. Steve.

  • Hi Sahil, thank you for your question. I am sorry to report, but unless you have backed up KEEPSAFE app before uninsatalling it, it’s impossible to restore the data using CopyTrans Apps.

  • Yen

    hi, the default apps in my phone has been lost, even the settings, and appstore. please help 🙁

    • Hi Yen, I am sorry but there’s no relation to CopyTrans in this case. For general support about Apple products, please visit the nearest Genius Bar or the Apple Support forums.

  • MikuLoverHachune

    Oh great I lost my Five Nights At Freddys The Silver eyes book and maybe one to two of my ringtones, someone tell me what do i do?!

    • Alla CopyTrans

      Hi Miku, please contact our support at and explain what happened in more details, we’ll help you find a solution.

  • Doogy

    Help me, I formatted my phone and now forgot what was the apps I used to have. Can I get it back ? Somehow

    • Hello Doogy, unfortunately it’s impossible to backup apps now due to Apple limitations, so the only way to have your apps on your iPhone is to download them from AppStore. Please note, that if you’ve done full backup of your iPhone prior to formatting it, you can restore it from backup using CopyTrans Shelbee after downloading apps from AppStore. Thus, all the data associated with your apps will be restored.

  • Dutch

    I deleted my whatsapp from my iPhone and I tried to download it again several times but when I click on the cloud App on the right top of whatsapp icon, it bounce back and for up to a month now I’ve tried to no avail. Someone please help me!

  • Xyrven Blue

    My Pages, iMovie & other iWork Apps doesn’t have any cloud to install it again. Even i tried the “Purchased” thing. Help

    • Hi Xyrven, in case you are a Mac user, please note that our programs are only for Windows. If it’s not the case, please, contact us at and describe in more details what you are trying to acheive and what you have already done. Thank you!

  • luke collins

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  • aimee cosmar

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  • Mudassir Mukadam

    Hi! There, Please Help. i Deleted My Share it And Facebook Massanger but now when i am trying to re download it from Apps Store It Bounce Back Unable To Download This Both App Again Please Help

    • Marika CopyTrans

      Hey Mudassir, I’m not sure we will be the right people to help, nut we can try. What’s the exact error that you get? Does it suggest anything?

  • Cw

    Can I recover an app that I accidentally deleted that is no longer in the app store

    • Irina CopyTrans

      Hi Cw, I’m afraid not unless you backed it up with CopyTrans Apps before and you still have iOS 8 (or earlier).

  • Kailey Joanette

    I restored my phone… I understand that Shelbee doesn’t back up apps, but with iTunes the position of all apps gets stored and download happens automatically. Is this not possible with Shelbee?

    • Irina CopyTrans

      Hi Kailey, it’s not possible as of now. iTunes doesn’t technically back up apps, it automatically downloads them from the app store after you restore. Thank you for the suggestion though, we will see whether it’s possible or not.

  • Ma.Jennfer Tornea

    Hi i deleted accidentally my HomeKit and i cnt remembers if what iOS that was …Pls i Need answers …

    • Irina CopyTrans

      Hi, I don’t quite understand your question. If you deleted an app, you can redownload it from the App Store.

  • Tom Kay

    Hi. I’ve purchased apps back in the day on my 4S, in a different locale app store, now on my 6S I see none of them under the Purchased/Not on this iphone tab such as Wolfram Alpha for example. any way to get them back?

    • Hi Tom, if you bought your apps before iOS 8.3 was released, there’s a good chance they’re still saved in your iTunes backup (if you made one then and are still keeping it). So, if positive, you can install your old apps to the latest iOS using iTunes (from the applications category).

  • Gabriela

    I accidentally deleted email and I can’t get it back using these ways. Can anyone help me? Thank you!

    • Irina CopyTrans

      Hi Gabriela, if you are talking about an email app, you can go to the App Store — Updates — Purchased and look for your lost app there. Or use search in the App Store. If you are talking about an actual email, you can probably find it in the “Deleted” folder.

  • Zuhair talpur

    When I restore my backup from iTunes my PGL app on waiting and then surdenly it’s gone what do I do

  • Gabrielle Sweda

    Thanks! Saved me a ton of time getting back my lost app which is no longer on the App Store. Luckily I had recently backed up the data from within the app.

  • keith

    i accidentally deleted file manager APP in my iPhone and i already reinstalled the same app but i cant retrieved the documents and files

    • Irina CopyTrans

      Hi Keith, I’m afraid I can’t do anything for you here. I think it’s best you contact the file manager app customer support.

  • Sultan Khan

    I bought iphone 7 from middle east. It showing facetime in phone storage but it not showing in home screen nor in restrictions. How to get Facetime?

    • Marika CopyTrans

      Hey Sultan, the app might have been deleted from the phone. If you want it back, just download it from the App Store.

      • Sultan Khan

        I don’t think so. It is on iphone storge and it’s disable. I didn’t find facetime on App Store. You send me the ios 11 jailbreak which is not fake

        • Marika CopyTrans

          I clearly see FaceTime in my app store, Sultan. I’m afraid we don’t send jailbreaks.